Preen was not a pleasant show because it started 75 minutes late. The lighting was bright white and so the waiting showed on faces, and whenever you shifted in your seat, your shadow did, too. We were reminded of high school lock-ins, where someone cheated and everyone had to wait, silent at their desk, until someone confessed. We should also note that this show was insider only. Sitting directly in front of us were Cathy Horyn, Eric Wilson, Sally Singer, Suzy Menkes, Hilary Alexander, and Kate Lanphear. Their collective closets equal the federal budget of Mexico. So not only did we sit still, we sat self-aware and terrified. When finally the clothes came, a new terror: How to wear something so casually elite, both shredded and expensive. Preen's dresses were swathed and swooshed and wrapped, a futuristic sari where fabric floats around a nylon corset. Their stuff is so simple, and so cleanly cool - every outfit is one color and one shape. We remember in Art History, the quote from architect LeCorbusier that said "The house is a machine for living." These dresses were machines too, but we can't decide if they were for sex, for dancing, for stomping, or whatever. And just as the front row was stacked, so was the runway: Lily, Agyness, Snejana, Catherine, Tanya, Stam, and our first sighting yet of Caroline Trentini. When she walked by us, her legs looked like tree trunks, and we realized her wide-eyed Vogue stance is sort of an act: This girl could tear a heart in two with a few fast steps.
Julia Stegner has yellow overtones.
The wrap dress fast forwards.
Catherine McNeil sprints down the runway.
Maryna Linchuk is off to Kill Bill.